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Yogi Bear's 1970's run?

Discussion in 'Back To The Inkwell - Classic Cartoons Discussion' started by Zen Man, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. Zen Man

    Zen Man Active Member

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    We all know Yogi had a rough time in the 1970's mainly because it seemed that H-B execs just didn't seem to know what to do with him when his old show ended. He was big star for them so it's natural that they wanted to keep him in the spotlight; but Yogi's Gang, Yogi's Space Race and Galaxy Goof-ups were really bad vehicles for him. With 'Gang', the concept was admirable...it's just that they used the wrong character. Yogi was never meant to be a goody two-shoes thus they ended up watering him and the rest of the characters down. And it didn't help that the majority of the 'villains' were just lame... but I digress.

    With 'Space Race' and 'Goof-ups' , many here have said they were created to cash in on the Star Wars craze which was understandable but in doing so, that left both shows terribly dated- particularly 'Goof-ups' with it's disco dance scenes. Now I wasn't born in the 70's but I did catch these shows in re-runs and I admit 'Space Race' and 'Goof-ups' were guilty pleasures but didn't really do the character justice. Yogi's not really a hard character to write for, it's just the matter of putting him in ideal situations.

    So I guess my questions are: Couldn't Hanna-Barbera have come up with better spin-offs with Yogi Bear during this period? What could they have done better?
     
  2. Eric B

    Eric B Active Member

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    Perhaps Ranger Smith should have been captain of the ark, and then you would have Yogi getting into trouble, and that would be more truer to his character?

    Those other two shows were also like rehahes of Laffalympics, which was made around the same time, and they were obviously NBC's answer to that show. Laffalympics, with him as captain of all the older HB stars was a much better fit for him. I would have rather seen more of those made (perhaps a space version of them, but with the same teams) instead of those other two shows, but of course, it was from different networks.
     
  3. KJ Styles

    KJ Styles The Instant Classic

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    Space Race and Galaxy Goof Ups pre-dated Laff-A-Lympics. The only problem I had with those shows is that Boo-Boo should have been there instead of Scare Bear. Otherwise I thought they were fine. That said, I agree that Laff-A-Lympics was superior to both.

    Yogi's Gang comes off as cheesy by today's standards, but it was a noble concept in hindsight. They were just trying to give positive messages to kids, and Yogi and his crew were popular enough with kids for them to take heed to those messages.
     
  4. Eric B

    Eric B Active Member

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    No, those are both from '78, where Laffalympics started in '77.
     
  5. Fibber Fox

    Fibber Fox Member

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    Which isn't the purpose of Yogi Bear cartoons, except to scared network people bowing to pressure groups.

    Which is why the world is a better place than a generation ago.

    F. Fox
    http://yowpyowp.blogspot.com
     
  6. Zen Man

    Zen Man Active Member

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    If they wanted to get all the funny animal characters together, they could've done a variety type show with Yogi and crew. Maybe have them running a local television station or something; sorta like the old Muppet show.
     
  7. Goldstar Neo

    Goldstar Neo Good Morning!

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    And you can bet that the main (if not only) reason why Hanna-Barbera took this moral approach is because these "positive messages" were forced on them by the networks. Action for Childrens' Television had a real clamp on creativity back then. It's for this same reason why all of the antagonism and violence (as well as most of the fun) were sucked out of Tom & Jerry during that era. I'm sure that if H-B had the choice, they would have just continued making funny cartoons.

    The main problem that I had with the old "Plurality of H-B funny animal characters in a single setting" format was the simple fact that many characters in the H-B Zoo (as I sometimes call it) were interchangeable. Except for the Big 3 (Yogi, Huckleberry Hound and Quick Draw McGraw), most of those characters were fill in the blank characters with little originality to them or were 1 joke characters who didn't lend themselves to wide variety of stories. So I don't see it being such a great idea bringing them all together for a single program. Rather, there could have simply been a New Yogi Bear Show with Yogi at Jellystone Park as the main attraction, and the other H-B animal characters could be pulled out for the occasional guest appearance. Or H-B could have done a series similar to Marvel comics' 2 in 1 comic series and have Yogi appear with a different H-B co-star(s) in every episode. Kind of like Batman:The Brave and the Bold, only with comedy.

    Come to think of it, that's something that Cartoon Network could be doing with Yogi's gang now...
     
    #7 Goldstar Neo, Jun 2, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2010
  8. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Well-Known Member

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    By 1972, when "Yogi's Ark Lark" was presented on the Saturday Superstar Movie, Yogi Bear had been eclipsed in popularity by the franchise characters H-B introduced in the 60's (Flintstones, Jetsons, Scooby-Doo). In order to make Yogi relevant again, and at the same time develop something to make ACT happy, Hanna-Barbera decided to make Yogi, Boo Boo, Ranger Smith, et al, into ecological activists.

    Granted, some episodes of Super Friends, which launched the same year as Yogi's Gang, followed the same ecological path, but while SF is revered for its 13 year run in various formats, Yogi's Gang is largely forgotten, cancelled after 1 season.

    4 years pass, and Yogi is made a captain on Laff-A-Lympics, bringing some of the gang (i.e. Boo Boo, Huck) with him, while Snagglepuss is a commentator. Not satisfied with that, H-B spins Yogi & Huck off to Yogi's Space Race on NBC the next year, with Galaxy Goof-Ups as part of the show. As we know, GGU was spun from Space Race when NBC had a ratings panic attack.

    Whatever malice Yogi had in him as a pic-a-nic basket-snatching moocher of a bear was gone, and only was retrieved when they revived his solo series in the late 80s. In hindsight, maybe if they didn't have so many characters in the Gang, the show might've succeeded after all.
     
  9. KJ Styles

    KJ Styles The Instant Classic

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    You're probably right, but I really didn't have a problem with the positive messages. It's just that in Yogi's Gang they came off as cheesy (especially with the villans on that show). Cartoons can have morals to them and STILL be funny. A perfect example of that is Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids.

    I hated that whole ACT regime that eliminated violence on SatAM toons though. The HB versions of Tom & Jerry and Popeye were unwatchable for that reason IMO.

    I disagree with that. I think Snagglepuss was awesome! He was the Shakespeare of H-B with his dialouge and quick witted humor. I also liked Magilla Gorilla and Hokey Wolf. Top Cat and his crew should have been in more Yogi cartoons, he was very cerebral and hilarious! It wasn't until Yogi's Treasure Hunt (a much better show than Yogi's Gang IMO) that he got down with Yogi.

    That would be AWESOME, especially with the CGI Yogi movie coming out. That would be the perfect way to introduce Yogi and Boo-Boo to a new generation whom may not be all that familiar with them unless they have (and watch) Boomerang.

    That said, I thought Yogi's Treasure Hunt was an excellent show, as were Laff-A-Lympics and a few of those H-B Zoo specials like Yogi's First Christmas. Your idea is GREAT though. Yogi deserves a new series, especially after the abomination that was Yo, Yogi.
     
  10. Jayd

    Jayd Member

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    Treasure Hunt was probably the best of the Yogi related ensemble shows. There weren't too many characters(nice to see Snoop and Blab as well as the Ranger) and other characters make cameos as well, including Hokey and Jinks the Cat, who in my opinion should have been a bigger star. I just love the way he talks-like, you know.
     
  11. Anthonynotes

    Anthonynotes Active Member

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    Yogi's Treasure Hunt was made in the (more lenient violence-wise) 80s, of course.... though wonder if the fact it was also made for syndication helped---no network heads to kowtow to...

    Cheesy as it was, I liked "Space Race"... had a few amusing one-liners...

    -B.
     
  12. KJ Styles

    KJ Styles The Instant Classic

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    I liked Mr. Jinx too. Daws Butler did a masterful job voicing him (as he did with most of the HB-Zoo) but I think HB-Zoo haters looked at Pixie & Dixie and Mr. Jinx as a Tom & Jerry knockoff, which likely prevented Jinx from being a bigger star.

    I wish that Baba Looey would have been in more Treasure Hunt episodes. Quick Draw McGraw isn't as entertaining without him IMO.
     
  13. Zen Man

    Zen Man Active Member

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    You'll notice in "Treasure Hunt", that they always paired up Quickdraw and Huck whenever the gang would split up. Now the two did have some funny interactions, but they never really gelled together.
     
  14. Silverstar

    Silverstar Rock the Dragon

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    As others have noted, the biggest downsides to Yogi's Gang (aside from their being watered-down morality plays egged on by ACT and their ilk of PC Commandos) was that cramming every single H-B anthropomorphic beastie there was into the program made Yogi's Gang one overpopulated show, not to mention that Yogi was almost totally neutered as a character, again due to his need to be upright and moral. Perhaps if Ranger Smith had been in charge and Yogi was allowed to be his scheming, mooching self....

    Yogi's Treasure Hunt fared considerably better since it wasn't bogged down by PC-ness and there weren't nearly as many extraneous characters to keep track of.

    I personally don't count Yogi's Space Race and Laff-A-Lympics as Yogi series since he wasn't the main focus of either (despite his name being listed in the former); those were basically reiterations of the Wacky Races formula, only with different settings and established stars rather than original unknown characters. The same formula was employed once more in the "Fender Bender 500" segments of the syndicated Wake, Rattle and Roll, again featuring Yogi, but this time around, his partner was Boo-Boo, as nature intended.

    Galaxy Goof-Ups was basically a knock-off of Star Wars (not surprising, given the time of its' debut) and as such, it just seems somewhat dated now, especially with all of the scenes of Yogi and company boogeying down in an intergalactic disco. The less said about Yo, Yogi!, the better.
     

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